How much would you love to turn back the clock and undo all that sun damage you exposed yourself to? It might be too late for you, but it’s not too late for your children. While wrinkles and sun spots develop after many years of exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, getting a sunburn at a young age is one of the top indicators for developing skin cancer later in life.
A team of researchers recently studied the sun-safety habits of children and found that more than half (53 percent) had suffered at least one sunburn before age 11. Further, they found that only one in four 14-year-olds regularly use sunscreen.
But what you do to protect your skin can have a profound effect on young teenagers who, despite their behavior, still look to you for guidance. Slather on the sunscreen and then cover them as well. Or better yet, encourage them to learn to properly coat themselves. Have them wear a hat on particularly sunny days and opt for lightweight cotton clothing to add another layer of protection. Explain the dangers of sun damage, both in terms of aging and health. Plus, if you follow those rules, your children likely will, too.
If your teen is desperate for a tan, she’ll have a hard time accessing a tanning bed if you live on the West Coast. California banned teens from using tanning beds in October 2011. Instead, why not have an at-home spa day and teach her how to use a good, moisturizing self-tanner if you feel she’s old enough. Some formulas can dry out the skin, so be sure to look for a hydrating brand, like Xen-Tan Scent Secure Daily Protection.
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